New figures show wide disparity between the low-rise and high-rise housing markets in the Greater Toronto Area as tighter supply in the low-rise sector curbs sales.

Sales of high-rise homes soared in May to a near-record high of 3,623; only November 2011 saw a higher volume of monthly sales for high-rise condos.

Meanwhile, there was a record low for the inventory of low-rise homes with just 1,985 properties available for sale, the first time inventory has dropped below 2,000 for new detached, semi-detached and townhomes.

The data, from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), reveals that total inventory (19,209) is around 10,000 lower than a decade ago but that availability for high-rise (17,224) is up almost 3,000.

"The industry is following the Province's Growth Plan intensification policies which emphasize high-rise development in the GTA," said BILD President and CEO Bryan Tuckey. "Nine out of 10 of the new homes available for sale in the GTA are high-rise and mid-rise condominiums."

The tight supply of low-rise homes pushed the average price in this category to a record high in May - $875,174 – while detached homes averaged $1.125 million, having surpassed the million-dollar mark in March.

High-rise homes edged 3 per cent higher year-over-year to an average $454,304 with the price per square foot also 3 per cent higher at $573.

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